General Motors Co. is allegedly in the planning stages for a peer-to-peer vehicle rental program which the U.S. automaker will launch as a pilot sometime this summer. That's according to an unnamed source close to the company who was interviewed by Bloomberg. This would be a service similar to what the company's Maven unit already offers – lending cars out to various ride-sharing companies, individuals, and organizations – but would center around allowing personal vehicles to be rented out by everyday people. There aren't many details as to what that entails or where the trials will take place, let alone what the requirements will be to loan out a vehicle. It is assumed that these will work similarly to Airbnb, but for cars. Moreover, at least initially, entry into the program would be limited to owners of GM vehicles. Those would be added to either the main Maven service or to a standalone service associated with the older platform. That would mean that owners of a given vehicle would simply be able to put their daily driver or secondary vehicle up for rentals during periods when they aren't using it.
It bears mentioning that because this comes from an unnamed source it may be best taken with a dose of skepticism. However, the move to offer this kind of service – with consideration for how successful other, similar rental services have been – would be in line with recent industry trends. The automotive industry is predicted to continue shifting toward ride-sharing and other alternatives to vehicle ownership as more and better self-driving vehicle platforms emerge. The transition could take some time, up to ten years by some expert estimates, but there's not much chance the trajectory is going to change. In fact, there are already a few companies getting started on similar services. Aside from a few startups, such as Turo and Getaround, other prominent manufacturers have already hinted at offering this kind of service, including firms like Tesla.
As mentioned above, there aren't currently any details about how this would work, what years or models this would be restricted to, or any technological requirements for participation. There's also no way to know for sure whether or not the endeavor will ultimately be successful. In the meantime, if the tests are indeed set to start this summer, it shouldn't be too long before official details about the new project are made known.